By Victoria Trower
Philadelphians hate change and will complain about anything and everything that wasn't "how it yoosta be," while simultaneously enjoying (secretly) the benefits of the metamorphosing into the next phase of its existence. I am one of those people who take it the extreme. I'm pretty sure my therapist would tell me that it's a physical manifestation of my inability to deal with emotional transitions, thereby prohibiting me from reaching the outermost branches of the Jungian tree of self-actualization. Or something like that.
It started with
Then there was the
closing of the seafood haven Mama Rosas, where we would we find crabs seasoned
to such perfection, it didn't matter if your heart began pounding in your ears
with each finger-licking smack. After that, was
My honorary grandmother, Granma Margret, lived right across the street from us on the 3300 side and, along with my aunts, uncles and mother, would spend hours playing pinochle while the kids ran the length of the street. I had such fond memories of summer times, the adults giving us kids money to go to Mac's corner store and getting penny candies, Pepsi, and Salem Lights 100s for the grown-ups. That was when Pepsi came in a glass bottle and kids could buy cigarettes with a note from an elder. We'd all congregate on someone's steps polishing off Jax's or Bachman's Red Hot Chips -- always chased down a Hug or Clearly Canadian -- getting ready to play our daily game of hide and go seek or whatever crazy stuff we came up with.
Mac sold the place a few weeks after my mother's death. There was an immense and dreadful feeling that it was happening: Life was still moving forward, changing, without my mother, and without my permission.
But nothing was more
revered in our household than
But change is good. The University is creating more
jobs, the neighborhoods look cleaner, and
The changing landscape of my hood made me realize life with its sweet shortness and transitions is beautiful. As bittersweet as it is to let go of the past, I've come to the conclusion that it is much better to have been a part of those places where my happiest memories run free than to never have been a part of it at all. And if anything, I've learned to make those same kinds of memories with my children. Change, as it turns out, isn't so bad after all.